Medical Marijuana in America

Medical Marijuana in America

In the United States, the use of medical marijuana has remained illegal, though 20 states have approved and regulated its medical use. Doctors in these jurisdictions can prescribe cannabis either to manage or treat illnesses such as glaucoma, which is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve as well as menstrual cramps. Cancer patients are also known to smoke pot to relieve the pain and nausea associated with their chemotherapy treatments. Doctors may also prescribe medical marijuana if one has Crohn disease, seizure disorders or even the HIV virus.

Those with muscle stiffness and other inflammatory diseases have also been known to use medical marijuana to ease their condition. Emerging research indicates that apart from marijuana being a powerful appetite stimulant, it also may protect the body against malignant tumors. In America, medical marijuana has continued to enjoy support even from the politicians. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal and your doctor thinks it could help, you will get a marijuana card. This card will allow you to buy marijuana from an authorized seller called a marijuana dispensary.  The food and drug administration has also approved THC, a key ingredient in marijuana products, which is used to treat nausea and improve appetite.

Marijuana works by helping the natural chemicals produced by the body work better. The drug can be used in different ways like smoking it, eating it in the form of candy or cookies, as a liquid extract or by even vaporizing it without smoke being formed. However, as much as the medical marijuana is known to help improve some conditions; it has some side effects like drowsiness, euphoria and short memory loss. It should also be noted that people with a history of psychosis, pregnant women or people with heart diseases should not use it. The medicinal drug is only prescribed to adults over 18 years of age.

More than 60 U.S. and International health organizations support the use of medical marijuana under a physician’s supervision. Some of the 20 states to legalize medical marijuana include Washington, which is one of the states that have passed laws on medical marijuana. Patients who possess valid documentation from their physician affirming that they have a condition requiring medical marijuana have continued enjoying the state’s protection.  They are allowed to possess or cultivate no more than a 60-day supply of marijuana. The law had some amendments in which, if someone was found having larger quantities of cannabis than those approved by the department and they presented evidence that they do require it to treat their medical condition, then they would receive legal protection.

The designated caregiver to the patient is not allowed to consume marijuana obtained for medical use and they must be 18 years or older. Maryland passed a defense law in which the court is to consider a defendant’s use of medical marijuana to be a mitigating factor in marijuana related state prosecution. If the case gets to trial and it’s determined that their use was of a medical necessity, then there is no penalty or fine awarded. Only a few marijuana dispensaries have been approved to sell to patients.

New York became the 21st state to allow medical use of cannabis. The state would allow as many as 20 hospitals to dispense the drug to patients with severe medical conditions.  Washington State is set to allow the sale of marijuana later in 2014. Most Americans support the use of medical marijuana, however, their main concern is how it will be regulated to avoid cases of recreational marijuana use and underage drug use. Rhode Island is also another state hat permits the use of the drug by patients suffering from chronic pain and other medical conditions. Only patients approved by the state are allowed to buy the drug from two marijuana dispensaries or from caregivers.

Colorado and Washington remain to be the only two states that have legalized and regulated marijuana sales for those over 21 years of age. As more states approve the sale of medical marijuana, the drug is becoming less controversial compared to the past when it was prohibited. Obama’s administration is allowing the states to make their own decisions regarding marijuana for medical and recreational use.